For working people who want to adopt, the need to take time off without pay may put adoption beyond your financial means.
By Elizabeth A. Mair
If anyone is seeking an issue for which to crusade in his workplace, may I suggest employee adoption benefits? If you are “waiting,” this is the time to make a pitch to your employer to institute or improve these benefits. If you have already completed your adoption, you can certainly remember that your employer undoubtedly could have provided more support with paid leave, adoption fee reimbursement, or both.
I found several ways to work toward encouraging my employer to improve the benefits provided to adoptive parents. During the waiting phase, I participated in a diversity session focusing on work and family issues. Several women at the session complained about the amount of paid maternity leave time provided by the company, indicating that it was not competitive with other firms in our industry. I piped up and informed the group that the company offered no paid time for an employee who adopted a child. After the session, I approached the facilitator who was one of the most senior women at my company. I asked for her assistance in identifying human resources employees who would be in a position to change benefits. Several months later, I submitted this idea to the company chairman’s electronic suggestion box. My focus was paid adoption leave, but this proposal could easily be altered to push for new or improved adoption expense reimbursement…